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  • Writer's pictureHeidi Nehring

Trail Angels

Sometimes you do that pause thing, reflecting on how much life has changed. How care-free you were as a kid building forts in the backyard with your brother, playing “runaway orphan” with your dad’s mint-green boat named Pokey (cuz it looks like a turtle in the water). How when school starts, you realize all of the things you should or shouldn’t be doing, following the rules and regulations of a structured routine life of learning abc’s and 123’s, of getting grounded for not turning in homework on time, or climbing out windows to play with friends when you weren’t suppose to. Tucking yourself into the shapes and edges of a mold that doesn’t quite fit a mind and spirit that needs outlets to create in order to shift and shape an ever evolving heart and mind when others say don’t, or "you’re not talented enough", or if you don’t do it this way, or believe this way, something bad is going to happen, enshrouding the body with fear that remembers it in places and spaces today when there is no threat.

And yet life guides you. People pull you out of the quick sand, trail angels that provide the nutrients and nourishment to get you back on your feet. Your older now, wiser now, in the sense you realize you know absolutely nothing about the wonder of life accept it’s complicated, beautiful, and spiritually so connected to everything and everyone, that you start to look closer at your life going, “Is this what I want to do? Is this how I want to feel?” The process of life will do that.

When I was in grade school, my mom used to take me to family member’s houses when they were in the process of dying. (She created death and dying support groups.) I normally loved congregating with adults, but I got back in the car one day and angrily asked her once, “Why do you take me?!” I was so distraught about what I was seeing. It was heartbreaking and I wanted to run. Her reply was, “Because this is life. People need people. It’s beautiful in its own way on how people make peace with their life, with themselves, and God.” That was something close to what she replied. I remember that car ride in our falling apart maroon station wagon with a cookie sheet we used on the passenger side because there was a hole rusting in the floor. (Sometimes you don’t realize your parent’s struggled too.)

But moments like those have changed my life. Helped me understand more the truth about love, faith, openness, vulnerability, and the importance of having support and grace in the process. Life many times is a way of undoing what’s been done, but moreso looking at the beauty and gift of our humanity in the process of evolution. It really is a masterpiece that can be jarring, eye-opening; understanding ourselves, becoming aware of “what’s happening with my body?”, “why am I thinking this way?”, “how do I continue to find peace resting in this mandala of life?” is so important. Finding life support is epic. And the truth is we can use it. Become trail angels for others too. Our stories matter. We matter.

I wanted to take a pause from poetry to just be even more real, open, and honest. As I sit here in my sunroom enjoying every sip of my coffee (which I need to rewarm now), with lovely golden sunshine cascading in that is meant for all of us. And I think about you. My friends. My family. In so much gratitude you can't help but tear up. May we always feel safe to be, to express our emotions, to find the trail angels that hold out a hand to show mercy, and to enjoy the awe inspiring views along the way because they’re always there, even in the difficult. Thank you for reading!  

Heidi Nehring is an educator and spiritual life coach at The Heart Revival Center. Her curiosity in life has lead her to obtain multiple degrees in communication, English, creative writing, education, and life. She is a certified Life Coach from Serenity Life Coaching. Most recently, she received certification from International Yoga for, "Milestones on Our Spiritual Quest," and is currently enrolled in a class from UW-Eau Claire called, "Spirituality, Health, and Healing." But mostly, she is just human and enjoys 1x1 coffee discussions and hikes in nature. See The Heart Revival for her Spiritual Life Coaching Group Sessions, Writing and Meditation classes, mini-hiking retreats, or to sign up for a 1x1 Spiritual Life Coaching Session.

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